Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Bikes: Fuji S-12s, Trek Navigator 200, Dahon Vitesse D7, Raleigh Sprite Touring ('70's)
I came to a revelation on Sunday, and put a hold on the order. Realized that the "stinger", the hitch receiver insert on the Thule is a straight piece about 12" long. That means that I now have a lot of hardware (the entire swing arm) below the bumper level trailing a foot behind the van, barely 9 inches off the ground. A sloped driveway coming off of flat pavement would now be a hazard.
While I don't like some of the design features of the Yakima quite as much, it has an upswept stinger of only 7 inches long, placing the swing arm at bumper level, and well protected.
I got in touch with ORS this morning, and they confirmed that they have received a Thule backed pretty scraped up from road contact. It is a fine design for SUV's with a typical receiver sitting 15+ inches off the ground, but not a good fit with a low riding minivan.
They were great about it, and gave me a similar (20%) discount off of the Yakima Full Swing 4 in place of the Thule. It's base price is $20 higher to begin with, so it is costing me a bit more, but at least I will have something that does not put the bikes, rack or vehicle at risk. Received confirmation this afternoon that it shipped. Good customer service!